Can we say, then, that the Law itself is sinful? Of course not! But it was the Law that made me know what sin is. If the Law had not said, ‘Do not desire what belongs to someone else,’ I would not have known such a desire. But by means of that commandment sin found its chance to stir up all kinds of selfish desires in me. Apart from law, sin is a dead thing. (verses 7, 8)
Read Romans 7:1-12
A man returned to his old home town. It had changed a lot. Many areas that had been paddocks were now housing estates. He headed for his family home, remembering what used to be, not seeing what was there. When he was picked up by the police for doing 80 km/h in a 60 km/h zone, he was surprised. Last time he visited, the speed limit had been 80. Ignorance of the law was no defence. He paid the fine.
Ignorance of God’s Law still brings death to those who disobey it. The law itself is not sinful; it simply shows what sin is. It is a protective device to help people realise the depth of their need for forgiveness. When believers are granted forgiveness through Christ, they no longer need the law. However, the law is still there to show them how much they are in debt to the Lord.
Help me to know your will, Lord, so that my ignorance does not cause me to sin. Forgive the times I disobey you when I do have full knowledge of the law. Amen.
by Kathy Hoopman, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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